By Riyam Kafri AbuLaban
It is easy for privilege to declare, from its soapbox, that which is ethical, and that which is acceptable. But privilege does not understand that the worst form of violence is despair. Privilege does not fully understand the crushing pain of dashed youthful dreams. It does not understand that incessant oppression and monstrous deprivation quell the spirits and rob youth of life while still alive. Terror comes in different forms and demons; homelessness, unemployment, restrained movement, infinite administrative detention sentences, a stifled freedom (political and social), lack of medical care, unequal access to water, lack of services, lack of any true opportunity for self realization, an unfair skeleton of a job market and finite fair chance to a future.
We borrowed this land from our children, an ever-shrinking land, stolen from underneath us. The question is what have we done to make sure that it is livable? And the better question is do we really grasp how youth feels or perceives the world? Can we truly fathom how dark their path has become, how difficult their present is and unpromising their future? Do we understand that the violence of their reality might just be the worst terror of all?
Riyam Kafri AbuLaban is a writer, educator, baker, mother of twins, and advocate for children and youth. She is a scientist by training with a PhD in Chemistry and a writer by passion. Her writing has appeared here and there, in Mashallah News, This Week in Palestine, and others. She is currently working on her first poetry anthology, after taking a writing hiatus of seven years to serve as a school principal. On weekends, Riyam’s kitchen smells of zaatar, honey and freshly baked sourdough bread. On Instagram, you can find her writing @riyamkafri and her baking @riyamoskitchentable. She also tries to be on Twitter @riyamos. Riyam writes from Ramallah, Palestine.